Rhea Ripley is building a head of steam going into WrestleMania 39 as she’s set to compete for the SmackDown Women’s Championship against Charlotte Flair.
On Friday night, Ripley took on Liv Morgan – who challenged the 2023 women’s Royal Rumble winner to a match. Morgan started out strong trying to take down the 5-foot-7 Judgment Day stablemate with Dominik Mysterio in her corner at ringside.
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However, Morgan came up just short and lost to Ripley after she hit the Riptide maneuver and put Morgan into a modified cloverleaf to make her tap out. Ripley would continue to talk trash throughout the match and even address Flair at one point to make sure she was watching what she was doing to Morgan.
In the stands, a big Morgan fan was seen in tears, upset her favorite wrestler had lost. Morgan made it up to the fan by welcoming her backstage on SmackDown. Pictures showed Morgan consoling the fan.
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It’s been a tough go for Morgan recently. She put on a show at Elimination Chamber last month but fell short of achieving a shot at the Raw Women’s Championship as Asuka had won the match. She lost to Asuka on the Smackdown prior to the February pay-per-view and also was a part of the six-person tag-team that fell to Asuka, Carmella and Nikki Cross.
Morgan’s last win came on Feb. 10 when she and Raquel Rodriguez defeated Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville in a tag-team match.
Ripley has been on fire as of late. Despite losing a mixed tag-team match to Edge and Beth Phoenix, she won the Royal Rumble, pinned Candice LeRae on Jan. 9 and has wins over Akira Tozawa and Asuka.
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WrestleMania 39 is set for April 1 and 2.